Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis in White River State Park, the Indiana State Museum showcases the state’s art, science and cultural history from the prehistoric era to now. The museum’s permanent collection tells Indiana’s story, from glaciers to the first settlers, with a Native American exhibit that highlights the various cultures of local and regional tribes. The first floor showcases the state’s natural history while the second floor has its cultural history, with exhibits like The Ancient Seas, Birth of the Earth, Crossroads of America and Global Indiana. Each year, several traveling exhibits pass through the museum, allowing visitors to see something new with each trip. During Christmastime every year, part of the museum’s third floor transforms into Santa’s home, and children can ride the Santa Claus Express train. The museum also contains an IMAX theater, showing documentaries and family-friendly movies.
It seems fitting for the Indiana Repertory Theatre to be housed in such a dramatically beautiful 1927 multi-story concrete building. With its white terra cotta façade, emphasized by the Spanish-baroque style triangular curved arch, the building draws attention to the theatre troupe’s glowing marquee in downtown Indianapolis. Inside, the cadre of actors pull crowds in further, showcasing classic productions and newer works with seeming ease. A marble-floored grand lobby welcomes in theatergoers looking to catch one of their nine annual productions, while the sweeping staircase shows mezzanine level patrons to their plush seats. The not-for-profit Indiana Repertory Theatre, founded in 1972, is the only League of Resident Theatres entity in Indiana, sporting more than 100 seasonal and full-time staff.
In this day of DVDs and in-home, on-demand options, drive-in theatres are a rarity. But Tibbs Drive-In Theatre continues to provide what’s generally considered to be an old but cherished way to watch movies, particularly around Indianapolis. From early spring through mid-fall each year, Tibbs visitors can enjoy large-screen movies from the comfort of their own vehicles, or pull together an array of lawn chairs and other foldable furniture for strategically-positioned seats inside the facility’s parking lot. A variety of movies run across the four screens, usually as double-headers, making Tibbs an all-night destination. Concession stand options are plentiful and varied, and a large, grass-covered area is available near the main screen, where younger moviegoers often gather and play.
For the late Dr. George Henry Alexander Clowes, the most important things in life were science and the arts. The good doctor wanted to share this devotion with the Indianapolis community, so he devised and funded Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University. Completed in 1963, the hall shares Butler's gorgeous aesthetic with its arching stone fa?ade and lush crimson interior, which has room for over 2,000 patrons. In addition to major touring productions and public speakers, Clowes Memorial Hall is also the home of the Indianapolis Opera, the Butler Ballet, and the Indy 500.
Bankers Life Fieldhouse may be home to the Indiana Pacers, but the basketball team exudes plenty of Midwestern hospitality. The arena has hosted guests including Metallica, Disney on Ice, and Cirque du Soleil, as well as other professional sporting events. The welcoming atmosphere continues into the spacious concourse, where dining options range from drinks and pretzels at Mr. Smoothie to BBQ Alley, where athletes can sneak in a quick rack of ribs during halftime.
In remembrance of North Carolina State University women's basketball coach Kay Yow, the annual 4Kay run recruits a stampede of pavement pounders to speed through straightaways in support of cancer research. An estimated 3,000 fleet feet will tip off the 2011 NCAA Women's Final Four as they traverse the 2.49-mile home of the famed Indianapolis 500, making pit stops to refuel and check ankle pressure. Walkers are also encouraged to participate at their own comfortable pace during this rain-or-shine event. On race day, the first 500 Groupon participants to check in will receive a complimentary short-sleeve Nike T-shirt for quick changes after a victorious finish-line sports-drink bath.